The sea is a main attraction for children who can play, run and roll about in the sand to their heart’s content. They make friends and feel the healthy power of nature. Crete has a wide variety of beaches that are safe and ideal for families with children.
Children have an excellent relationship with water, from their nature, and nearly always get excited by the sea. This is one of the most fruitful periods in the life of everyone, children and parents, so don’t allow it to pass by.
Children, when small (up to 3yrs) need constant supervision, but when they get three or more, they love water games and become more independent. When they grow further and start diving, snorkeling, or fishing, their love for the sea and the environment grows even more.
To achieve all these and make them easier, it is essential to ensure the existence of conditions with a high sense of safety. Thus, it is desired that the beaches meet some specific conditions that will make life easier for parents.
The beaches, ideal for children, are quiet, good to be shallow, wave-sheltered, sandy or at least without rocky bottom, and close to hotels and restaurants. In Crete, many beaches are ideal for our young friends, the most important of which are presented below.
To the south of Chania, our small friends can have the time of their lives on the shallow sandy beaches of Frangokastello, Paleochora, Elafonissi, and Falassarna. To the north, well out of the north wind, there is a choice of beautiful beaches: Marathi, Chrisi Akti, and Kalivaki in Georgioupolis.
In the prefecture of Rethymnon, children can bathe and play at the wonderful beaches of Plakias and Damnoni on the south coast. The wind-protected beaches of Bali and Panormo on the north coast are also children- friendly.
Moreover, around Heraklion there are many beaches that are greatly appreciated by local families, Kastri and Tsoutsouras, being two of the most popular ones on the south coast. The well-equipped beaches of Agia Pelagia, Gouves, Chersonissos, and Stalida on the north coast also ensure an enjoyable swim and much fun for our little friends.
In Lassithi prefecture, near Agios Nikolaos in Mirambello Bay, there are a number of hidden beaches that are perfect for children, though the longer and wider beaches of Makrigialos, Kouremenos, and Chiona are a very common family destination.
Elafonisi is located 76km west of Chania and 5km south of Chrysoskalitisa Monastery, in the southwesternmost point of Crete. Elafonisi is an oblong, which often "breaks" in two parts by water giving the impression of being a separate island.
The exotic beach of Falassarna is located 59km west of Chania and 17km west of Kissamos. It’s located in the western part of Cape Gramvousa. At the northern end of the beach are the ruins of the ancient Roman city of Falassarna.
Bali has four beaches, which are formed in sandy coves with nice greenish waters. The beaches are almost always calm since the direction of Bali is western. They all are suitable for children and well organized. Moreover, water is cool because of the several springs that carry fresh water into the sea.
Stavros (i.e. cross) is a seaside village located 17km northeast of Chania, at the northernmost edge of Cape Akrotiri. One characteristic feature of the area is the very steep camel-shaped mountain rising opposite the harbor of Stavros. The mountain is famous because there were filmed scenes for the film “Zorba the Greek”, where Anthony Quinn danced the famous Sirtaki Dance in 1964. Then Stavros was a small fishing village.
Georgioupolis is a seaside resort located 38km east of Chania and 21km west of Rethymnon. It is a small coastal town, situated in a lush valley filled with rivers and springs. The town lies on the western edge of a vast long beach with 10km length. Georgioupolis Beach stretches 2km to the east, starting from the river Almiros and ending in Kavros Beach, which is a natural extension of the first beach.
Plakias is a popular tourist resort, located 36km south of Rethymno city, at the exit of a fertile valley surrounded by high mountains and dense olive groves. Next to it empties the river Kotsifos.
The Coves of Hersonissos are located 27km east of Heraklion, starting from Cape Sarandaris and continuing to the east till the harbour of Hersonissos. They are really beautiful beaches with calm waters, since Cape Sarandaris protects them from the northwest winds.
Agia Pelagia (Santa Pelagia) is located 21km west of Heraklion, on the west side of a long peninsula, which has many small coves with beautiful beaches. Agia Pelagia, initially a small and picturesque village built by the residents of Achlada village, transformed into a very popular tourist resort with many hotels, restaurants, cafes, bars, internet cafés, ATMs, taxis, etc., that is connected by regular bus services to Heraklion.